From the Critique of the Heavens to the Critique of the Earth: A Contribution to the Reconstruction of Karl Marx’s Unfinished Critique of Political Theology

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article reconstructs Karl Marx’s unfinished and hitherto unexamined 1843 critique of political theology, i.e., the predominant understanding of the state as a transcendent and sovereign subject. Careful analysis of the text and its intellectual context reveals how contemporary post-Hegelian debates sensitized Marx to the problem of political theology and provided the conceptual resources to overcome it without resorting to abstract negation. Marx showed that it was the social significance of this idea and associated practices that constituted the earthly existence of the modern state and provided a highly original analysis of its structural integration in the capitalist system.
TidsskriftTheory & Event
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)537-571
Antal sider35
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021


  • Political theology
  • Karl Marx
  • G.W.F. Hegel
  • Ludwig Feuerbach
  • Sovereignty

Citer dette